William Skillern and Ute Perkins [1 April 2009]
Interesting story surrounding the family of William Skillern:
Research pertaining marriage of a James Anderson to an Elizabeth Skillern does not pertain to this James. The James who married Elizabeth Skillern was a son of Isaac Anderson who also lived in Augusta County but was not from the same family. Per research of Dr. Barbara Inman Beall from her Online Journal of the Spence and Spenser families: http://www.twigs-of-inman-spence.rootsweb.com/Author.html:
"The Isaac Anderson family was just as "frisky" as the rest of the settlers in Augusta County, according to the court documents. Isaac's will found in Will Book 1, p. 143, dated 9 February 1747-8, states that Isaac was "to be buried where son John is buried. He lists his wife Martha and her daughter Elizabeth. And he identifies the children of his first marriage: son Isaac, son James, son Jacob, daughter Elizabeth, daughter, Mary. His executors are listed as his wife Martha and Hugh Martin. The witnesses were Hugh martin and James Anderson. After this will, the Isaac Anderson family becomes extremely interesting.
Enter Elizabeth Skillirn, widow of William Skillirn, who died in Augusta County in 1744. I have yet to discover Elizabeth Skillirn's maiden name; however, a possible explanation appears below. The records show that after her husband's death, Elizabeth became involved financially with a number of Augusta people.
William Skillirn, his wife Elizabeth, and their children George, William, Isabel Ann, and Sarah arrived in the Augusta/Orange County area directly from Ireland in 1740. In 1742, their daughter Elizabeth, was born. In 1744, William Skillirn died. His will, dated 16 January 1744, names his eldest son George, his second son William, three daughters--Isable, Elizabeth, and Sarah. His inventory on pages 119-20 of the records shows a total valuation of 54L12.4. James Ker, John Davison, and John Christian were the appraisers and they returned their appraisal 27 August 1747 (p. 23).
On 22 August 1745, Elizabeth "the wife of said Skillern declared she would not accept any legacy and did renounce all benefit" (p. 23). Then matters become confusing.
About 1747, Elizabeth Skillirn, the widow, appears to have married a "Ute Perkins." That same year, this same Elizabeth Skillirn married James Anderson, son of Isaac Anderson. The records then show:
Order Book XXIV, p. 302. James Patton...vs. Rev. John Hindman. In 1747, defendant married James Anderson (alias Ute Perkins) and Elizabeth Skeleron, widow and relict of William Skeleron, late of Augusta, without a license, Aug. 1749.
Pleasants vs. Skillern. (Aug. 1752). Thomas Pleasants complains of Elizabeth Anderson. Elizabeth Perkins was married to one John Anderson alias Ute Perkins. The bond was dated 1750. In her answer, Elizabeth states that she was Elizabeth Skillirn and denies being married.
Order Book No. XI- p. 340 James Anderson and wife, Elizabeth, bound to peace towards William Robertson Nov. 17, 1767--Elizabeth Anderson late Elizabeth Skillern and Robert Black Jr., bound to the peace of Thomas Turk. Tillory vs. James Anderson and Elizabeth his wife, late Elizabeth Skillern on a note dated 27 Nov 1747.
Adding to the confusion in this Anderson-Skillern connection is the fact that William Skillern and Elizabeth's daughter, Elizabeth (b. 1744) married James Anderson, the son of James Anderson and grandson of Isaac. Note the following:
Order Book No. XXIV p. 309, Rex vs. James Anderson: James Anderson indicted 1768, for poisoning William Robertson's hogs, & etc. on Oct. 1768.
p. 364--same case. james Anderson (Long Meadow)-Trespass. James Anderson killed Robertson's fowls and hogs with ratsbane in 1767. James Meeks deposition Nov. 1,1 768. He was at James Anderson's house on Long Meadow. James Anderson's wife was Elizabeth, and they had a daughter named Jean. William Robertson's wife was Lettice (Kerr). Elizabeth was the sister of William Skillern and George Skillern. Verdict was for Plaintiff.
The interesting thing about this matter is that there really was a "Ute Perkins". He appears to have come from St. George's Speseutia Parish, Harford County, Maryland and his wife is listed as Elizabeth Skillirn. He died in Augusta County. Who are these people? One possible answer is that they were the parents of Elizabeth Skillirn (wife of William). The Perkins had a daughter named Elizabeth, who would have been about her age. If this is true, then Elizabeth must have married a cousin named William Skillirn. Reportedly, the Skillirns came directly from Ireland to Virginia, however. It is possible that the Perkins family relocated from Ireland to Maryland (leaving Elizabeth behind--she may have already married). After their removal to Virginia, the Skillirns family next followed. After the death of her parents and her husband, Elizabeth may have resorted to using her maiden name in an effort to throw off her creditors. And after her remarriage to one or more of the Andersons, her husband(s) also posed as Ute Perkins. The possibility for this confusion may have been for good reason: Elizabeth borrowed money from a number of powerful men in Augusta County including Thomas Turk (son of Robert), William Robertson, and James Kerr.
The Turk family was no group to challenge. As previously mentioned, Robert Turk married Margaret Kerr in Pennsylvania and moved to Augusta County shortly after the James Kerr family arrived. Robert's son and grandson (both named Thomas Turk), appear on as many court files as he did. thomas Turk, the younger, became the father of Hiram Kerr Turk, who with his sons, set off the Slicker War in Benton and Polk Counties during the 1830s and 1840s. The Robertsons, Kerrs and Turks had intermarried for generations. Like James Kerr, William Robertson (whose wife Lettice or Letticia was a Kerr), was also an Augusta County, Justice.
Another family associated with the Skillirn name was the Spence family of Augusta County, VA. The Augusta County Court records show an interesting marriage 25 June 1793 between William Spence and Mary Anderson, with William Spence and James Anderson serving as sureties. These Spences appear of record as early as 1782 in a case between James Spence vs. John Graham--Write issued 7th Sept 1782. Another case (James Spences vs. James Graham, et al), 13 March 1783, filed in Chancery Court in Augusta states that James Graham was the son of John Graham and brother of Christopher Graham. James Spence was drafted and served at the siege of york. James Graham absconded and went to Kentucky. James Graham went on a tour of duty to Carolina as a substitute for John Patrick; James Gilespy has a brother John. John Gilespy's wife was Elizabeth. In 1785, another case--Hugh Nelson vs. James Spence--notes that the orator bought from Spence 130 acres, giving note for the purchase money, aforewhich defendant sued and obtained a judgment without making title. This particular bill was to enjoin judgment until title was made. On May 19 1790, John Chesnutt and Anne Palmer, the daughter of William Palmer, married. The surety was James Spence. Two wills also establish some of these relationships. The first dated 20 July 1781, Margret Spoull of Tinkling Spring, requested that she be buried at the discretion of Alexander Thompson, Sir; she mentions her granddaughters Agnes, Martha, Margret, Sarah Thompson, her son-in-law Alexander Thompson (who was also named her executor); and her testators were James Spence, Mary Palmer, Robert Thompson. The second will, dated 26 March 1790--William Palmer mentions his sons Robert and William (both executors), his daughters Mary, Ann, and Martha; his son-in-law James Spence; his testators Samuel Henry, William Spence and Mary Dunlap. What is really interesting about this Spence family is that while William Spence (son of James) married Mary Anderson, William Skillirn (son of William Skillirn and Elizabeth) also married a Mary Anderson. William Spence's wife was the daughter of James Anderson; William Skillirn's wife was the daughter of John Anderson. James and John Anderson were brothers.
This particular Spence family descended from William Spence of Southampton, Virginia, whose will appears of record there in 1758. As I have already mentioned, they may connect with the Pasquotank Spences, but the exact nature of that connection is unknown. I believe that this Spence family may have been progenitor of the Knox County, Tennessee Spence families. More will be written about the Knox County, Tennessee Spences in Part 3. The important thing to note about here is that William Skillirn and Mary Anderson (daughter of John) were parents of Anderson Skillirn, born in Augusta County in 1780. This Anderson Skillirn would later cross paths with Elisha Spence in Madison County, Tennessee. Some records show that Elizabeth Skillirn died in 1814. I have no additional information about her."
The Isaac Anderson Family Submitted by Cynthia Crane
Isaac Anderson was born in Ireland, and died in Rockbridge Co., VA in 1749. He brought his family from Ireland to America in 1726. His wife was named Martha. He moved to Rockbridge Co. about 1741 where he bought 350 acres in the Borden grant on the north fork of the James River (later known as the Maury River) about 10 miles north of Lexington and five miles from Providence Presbyterian Church. It is not known where he lived from 1726 until 1741. His land was adjacent to that of James McCroskey, whose daughter married Samuel Houston. The family suffered much at the hands of the Indians. Son John was killed in Dec. 1942 and a daughter, Betty Gilmore "with a suckling infant" was taken prisoner by the Shawnees. She was held prisoner at Chillicothe for a year, but was then taken to Pittsburgh and redeemed. Isaac's will, written 2-9-1747, was presented for probate 5-17-1749. He bequeathed his house and 150 acres of land to his widow and youngest son, Isaac. He also gave 100 acres each to sons James and Jacob. Isaac purchased both brothers' land and thus had the entire 350 acres that his father had owned. James bought 200 acres from Captain Buchanan and Jacob purchased a farm of 232 acres. Thus, for a time, there was a tract of Anderson land amounting to 782 acres. At one time there were miles of Anderson land lying together. Isaac is buried at Firebaugh Farm cemetery. Isaac and Martha's descendents were Deaf James, Betty (Gilmore), Jacob, and Mary "Molly" (Boyle), Isaac, William and John. Mary "Molly" purchased 200 acres in the Borden tract in 1768. The land cornered Robert Telford. In 1779 she sold the land to Solomon McCampbell. Submitted by Cynthia Crane firstname.lastname@example.org
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